Missing Montana Drowning Victim’s Body Found In Idaho River
Late Friday afternoon, the Idaho County Sheriff's Office was notified of a body in the Clearwater River at the dike in Stites.
Deputies responded to the location and recovered the body of 64 year-old Burke Despain of Kalispell. Despain had been reported missing April 9 in the area of Highway 14 milepost 21. Idaho County Sheriff Doug Gittings said the body finally surfaced after being submerged for several miles.
"He fell into the river sometime in the night, we don't know when," Gittings said. "He was asleep in a cabin with his son when he got up and left for some reason and ended up in the river. What happens is with the temperature and the gases and you put the biological and physiological stuff together, they come up and float. That's when we find them. He floated over 31 miles or so."
Gittings said the Clearwater was running high and fast at the time Despain disappeared.
"Well, always be prepared for bad weather, but he didn't go into the river willingly," he said. "We believe that he slipped and fell in. It's a pretty rough area right there."
The victim was taken to a local funeral home and his family was notified. Gittings said his office had been in constant contact with Despain’s family since he was reported missing.